Concordant preferences for actual height and facial cues to height

Daniel Edward Re, David I. Perrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Physical height has a well-documented effect on human mate preferences. In general, both sexes prefer opposite-sex romantic relationships in which the man is taller than the woman, while individual preferences for height are affected by a person’s own height. Research in human mate choice has demonstrated that attraction to facial characteristics, such as facial adiposity, may reflect references for body characteristics. Here, we tested preferences for facial cues to height. In general, increasing apparent height in men’s faces and slightly decreasing apparent height in women’s faces maximizes perceived attractiveness. Individual preferences for facial cues to height were predicted by self-reported preferences for actual height. Furthermore, women’s own height predicted opposite-sex preferences for facial cues to apparent height, though this finding did not extend to male participants. These findings validate the use of facial cues to height and demonstrate a further component of facial attractiveness that reflects preferences for body characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)901-906
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • Mate choice
  • Face perception
  • Physical stature
  • Body size
  • Attraction


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